Go Back to Berkeley

Artist Libby Black makes luxury consumer items — Yves St. Laurent suitcases, Hermès saddles, a Louis Vuitton workout room, an entire Kate Spade store — out of paper and hot glue. It’s priceless, commingling the insubstantial, chimerical value of the luxury industry while playing on the gluttonous needs of the superrich and plasticky people's need to become them. If a Louis Vuitton workout room really were for sale, P. Diddy would have it, and the Pilates community in L.A. would covet it. In “Be Here Now,” however, Black swivels her rifle: What if the luxury items were embraced by the Berkeley front guard? Hence, a Prada surfboard has the iconic “Kill Your Television” sticker, a Silver-Spangled Hamburg chicken sits in a Dior handbag, and a Dolce & Gabbana skateboard is stuck with the pointed “If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention.” We giggle, of course, but we've also seen SUVs flying "Live simply so others can simply live" bumper stickers on more than a few occasions, and not all were piloted by college students.
March 20-April 24, 2010

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